The Extraordinary, Ordinary Meeting

April 21, 2015 By Croft Edwards - No Comments
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I was recently in an extraordinary, ordinary meeting. It was a Friday morning meeting where the previous day’s activities were discussed and the plan for the upcoming day was shared with the group. It was a meeting where people were engaged in a great dialogue of learning and listening. There was a lightness and playfulness in the air among everyone, from the plant leader to the newest member of the organization. When a problem was discussed, each person who had insights into the challenge spoke up freely and shared their perspective and then allowed others to either ask questions or bring their perspective into the conversation. Whether the plant leader, or an individual contributor shared the insights, each person was treated with respect and their thoughts were part of the dialogue. To question a perspective was not seen as a personal attack but rather as an opportunity to come up with the best solution. Very critical issues were looked at, and when the group came to a conclusion, the person(s) who would take the agreed upon actions quickly stepped up, owned the next steps, and shared what the team could count on from them. Then quickly the meeting was over, and all dispersed to act on their shared commitments.

What made this an extraordinary, ordinary meeting you ask? As someone who attends a fair amount of meetings in many different organizations, this is not a common meeting; this is not an ordinary meeting. To have meetings like this requires leaders committed to creating a culture of trust, openness, and learning. It requires teaching and a shedding of personal agendas and inflated egos. This was an extraordinary, ordinary meeting.  How many meetings like this do you attend on a regular basis? And if you are the leader, does your organization have extraordinary, ordinary meetings?



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